Newcomer Brandon Routh makes his debut in Superman Returns, directed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects) and co-starring Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush). Routh is fetching in the role, and fills out those famous tights quite nicely. Physical attributes aside, he brings a quiet, contemplative quality to the role. Superman has always been a corny superhero, and there’s only so much that a writer can do to change that perception without completely abandoning character loyalty. Despite the aforementioned constraint, Superman Returns is well-written, and the corny one-liners are kept to a much-appreciated minimum. Kevin Spacey (American Beauty) is featured as our hero’s nemesis, Lex Luthor. Spacey is wonderfully nasty as Luthor, and this movie marks a reunion with Bryan Singer, who directed him in The Usual Suspects. Of course, the action is superb. I especially enjoyed watching Superman stop bullets – even a bullet fired straight into his eyeball crumples like a piece of paper. There’s also a great plot revelation that sets up the inevitable sequel. This movie reminded me that while other superheroes like Batman or Spiderman are a bit cooler than Superman, he’s still the freakin’ man of steel. Superhuman strength tops spider webs and Batman’s utility belt any day. In sum, fine performances + good writing = a very entertaining day at the movies.